From acclaimed director Hong Sang-soo (Woman on the Beach). Sung-nam is a successful, 40-ish married painter. He is now standing at the airport in Paris with a huge suitcase – for Sung-nam is on the run from a jail sentence in Korea because he was caught smoking marijuana, and drunk, at a casual get together.
Sung-nam finds a place to stay at a rundown hostel in the 14th Arrondissement; the hotel belongs to a Korean man. He spends his time wandering aimlessly about the streets of the city on the Seine, or meandering through the park – for there’s little else for him to do here. By chance he runs into his ex-girlfriend Min-sun, but the unexpected encounter leaves him cold. Sung-nam loves his wife and his thoughts are constantly with the woman he had to leave behind on her own in Korea. But then he meets Hyun-ju, a young Korean woman who is studying art in Paris and her flat-mate, Yu-jeong. Sung-nam falls head over heels in love in this pretty and mysterious young woman. He also falls in love with Paris.
A regular on the international festival circuit, Hong Sang-soo is one of Korea’s most highly regarded contemporary directors. His mostly improvised, innovatively constructed films conceal rich layers of meaning beneath deceptively simple surfaces, and reveal a filmmaker with a unique, individual style. A rather notorious figure on the Seoul film scene, Hong has a fondness for alcohol that is almost as legendary as his talent for filmmaking. He’s been known to get familiar with his actors before shooting by taking them on drinking binges, and, for verisimilitude, the many drinking scenes in his films normally include actually drunk performers (who sometimes don’t remember these scenes after they’ve been shot).
Born in 1960, Hong began his film studies at Joongang University in Korea, then moved to the United States, where he received his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His debut feature, The Day a… read more
I couldn't stop watching this, even as it slowly and awkwardly meandered its way in and around Paris, then back to Korea. You have to admire Hong's patience with his characters, no matter how absurdly juvenile they may be. The payoff is painfully funny. At one point, I thought I saw Rohmer's spirit peaking through the clouds.
Also: Theo Angelopoulos, Alberto Lattuada and Jean-Pierre Gorin on DVD.
Let's start this one with a few things going on here at The Auteurs. Hong Sang-soo's Night and Day is currently playing at Facets in Chicago
"My favorite film of the last two years, Hong Sang-soo's Bam gua nat (Night and Day), is getting a one-week run at Anthology Film Archives